Truth is I do it for two reasons.
First, and this is the main reason, I do it as a form of endearment. Or just for fun.
Second, I do it because there is a short circuit in my head that often prevents me from remembering the other person’s exact name.
I don’t know why but I say the first name that pops into my head.
You’d think it would be awkward for me. But it’s not, since I don’t realize what I said until later, after the person has left.
Here’s an example, or two. I had been negotiating all week and had returned home. Miechelle and I were out to dinner at a local restaurant enjoying our meal. We had small talk, catching up on the week’s events.
After the meal, Miechelle left me.
Not forever, just to try her hand at the video gaming machines. So I was alone.
A man and a women walked by and were seated at the table next to mine. The woman looked at me and smiled.
Quick, think! Who is she?
She’s my neighbor! “Patty! How are you? I asked. I got up and grabbed her arm (“friendly” grabbed not “kidnapping” grab). She then introduced me to her husband. While I was thinking if she said “husband” or “my friend”, she corrected herself and called him by another name. Because I was still thinking if she had referred to him as her husband, I did not hear exactly what she said.
She was not with her husband! So I made small talk, a specialty of mine. I mentioned the weather.
“It sure was a nice day today, soon it will be warm again and I’ll see you outside your house again!”
I know you’re probably thinking stalker alert, but she’s my neighbor!
At that moment I did not recognize the apparent look of confusion on her face. Truth be told my neighbor usually did have a look of confusion on her face.
So I sat down and a waited for my bride. She arrived and I mentioned to her in a whisper (probably in a too loud of voice since our tables were next to each other) “That’s our neighbor Patty and that is NOT her husband!”
It was my attempt to protect Miechelle from making an embarrassing comment.
I tell Patty, “You remember Miechelle.”
Patty responds, “Hi I’m Bobbie and I work with Joe, John’s dentist”
And at that moment, in a flash, I remembered who she was.
Not fazed, I started talking about my teeth.
It was only after relating the entire conversation to Miechelle did I realize how awkward that conversation must have been.
For Bobbie (and Patty, too).
Me? Not so much, see at the time I thought she was Patty, cheating on her husband. I’m not the one who should have felt awkward!
I still laugh long and hard when ever I think of this exhange.
Example #2 came about the very next night. Again out to dinner, I was walking to my table when a gentlemen seated with his family smiled and said “Hello John” to me . We shook hands. so I said back, “It’s good to see you again Johnny!” Thinking to myself, “Man, has he aged! He looks older than me!”
Miechelle brought me back to another reality when she said, “Hi Steve, how are you?”
I asked her later why she called Johnny “Steve”? She simply said “I worked with Steve.”
Oh. Maybe she would know his name. And I had another good laugh.
I could probably list reasons why I do this – I’m tired, I don’t like being left alone, can’t hear very well, too many files in my head and it takes awhile to find the right one.
It really doesn’t matter. I just do it.
That’s why I use nick names.
I can say this. If I meet you and call you by another name, you don’t have to play along. If you want you can correct me right then and there. That’s OK. We both can have a good laugh.
Or you let me go on a bit, no telling how far I go.
Either way, it’ll be a good story.
Check the vid link below:
And also: Sorry to Bobbie and Steve.
How you like me now?